eNews August 30, 2022

The latest news affecting you and your customers… from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

Post-ICU Syndrome increasingly identified

The term Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) was coined in 2012 and has grown in terms of awareness as medical advances have led to more people surviving after a stay in the ICU, reports Spectrum News in Cincinnati. Muscle weakness occurs among 33% of all patients on ventilators, 50% of all patients admitted with severe infection (sepsis), and up to 50% of patients who stay in the ICU for at least one week. About 30% to 80% of patients have problems with memory, word-finding or “brain fog,” and about 30% experience depression, anxiety or PTSD. The Post-ICU Recovery Clinic in Cincinnati aims to help patients and their families recover after leaving the ICU. The clinic centers around a peer support group and exams from a medical team including occupational and physical therapists as well as a social worker and time with a chaplain. 


N95s off the list

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Aug. 26 announced the removal of N95 respirators from the agency’s medical device shortage list, signaling that demand or projected demand for N95s no longer exceeds supply. This action is the result of increased domestic manufacturing of N95 respirators, as well as updates to the FDA’s supply chain assessment based on engagement with industry and federal stakeholders, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) approval of new disposable N95s and reusable respirators.


Asthma deaths rising

Asthma deaths across the country rose by more than 17%, from 3,524 in 2019 to 4,145 in 2020. It is the first “statistically significant increase” in more than 20 years, according to federal data examined by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, a nonprofit patient organization, reports NBC News. Black people and Native Americans are diagnosed with asthma at higher rates; emergency department visits related to asthma are five times as high for Black patients as for White patients; and Black people are about three times more likely to die from asthma than White people. While COVID-19 may be a likely factor in the recent increase, a warming climate and hotter days are worsening the effects on people with asthma and allergy sensitivities, according to Kenneth Mendez, AAFA president and chief executive.


From the 2022 IMDA/HIRA Conference

Value analysis: The intersection of cost and quality

Some of the most important things happen at intersections, that is, those places where people, things, ideas and objectives come together. In healthcare, value analysis professionals stand at one of those intersections. That’s because value lies at the intersection of best outcomes and lowest overcall cost, said value analysis and materials management experts Barbara Strain and Dee Donatelli at the 2022 IMDA/HIRA conference in Itasca, Illinois.

Value analysis professionals work at the intersection of clinical operations, high-cost procedure areas, nursing, materials management and operations, they said. They know what contracts are in place at their health systems and what objectives suppliers can realistically achieve within those contract parameters. After a contract is signed, they can aid the supplier in conversions, and further down the road, they can help address issues such as recalls or backorders. With the supplier, value analysis can monitor contract compliance to ensure that the contract is a “win” for both sides.

Working at the intersection depends on communication. Unfortunately, even now, two and a half years after the beginning of the COVID pandemic, many value analysis professionals are still tied up resolving product sourcing issues. They may not answer suppliers’ calls promptly. “They are inundated,” said the two speakers. “But they do care.” Their advice to suppliers with innovative technologies? Keep calling.

Watch future issues of IMDA eNews for more reporting from this summer’s IMDA/HIRA conference.